10 Affordable Babymoon Ideas for 2022
There's so much budgeting that comes with having a baby, be it your first or your fifth. From genetic testing costs and prenatal and postpartum medical bills (not to mention that sky-high delivery fee itself, thanks America!) all the way to planning to pay for diapers and daycare, it can feel like you don't have a dollar to spend on, well, yourself.
But hear us out, soon-to-be parents: Taking the babymoon of your dreams is a final pre-baby break you definitely deserve. And it doesn't have to be the splurge of your year, either.
We've rounded up 10 babymoon spots that we predict will top every 2022 traveler's list of desired vacation spots—heck, these vacation spots are ideal whether or not said traveler is pregnant. But if you are, and are searching for that just-right, super romantic getaway that's still within your wallet's reasonable reach? These are hands-down the best affordable destinations for a great babymoon throughout the United States, Canada, the Carribbean, and a dash of Central America for good measure.
Sanibel Island, Florida
If you're looking for some coastal quiet, Florida may not be the first choice that comes to mind. But beyond the teeming shores of Miami and Panama City, you'll find some lesser-known gems that are just what the OB ordered (when she told you to relax, that is). The islands of Sanibel and Captiva, in particular, are known for their gorgeous Gulf Coast beaches, abundant wildlife (the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a can't-miss), and unparalelled "shelling"—yes, collecting sand dollars and conch has its own verb around here.
"Sanibel is known for its beautiful, unique shells," says Parents General Manager Emily Rose, who spent her mid-pandemic babymoon holed up on the quiet island—population just over 7,000. "I spent many mornings collecting the perfect ones that now sit in a jar in my 5-month-old daughter's room. As a beach lover, I got so excited when my baby would kick like crazy as we sat by the ocean."
Her overall verdict? "It's still the only time I've flown during the pandemic," Rose adds, "but it was such a relaxing trip for me and my husband."
The best part? Flights from NYC to RSW (Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, the closest airport to Sanibel) are bottoming out at $71 round-trip right now on Spirit.
Charleston, South Carolina
This romantic destination is a favorite of couples of all ages—but we think it's the sweet spot for babymooning. For one thing, quaint, cobblestoned downtown Charleston is refreshingly walkable; you can get from site to site without hauling around on swollen preggo feet for hours. And if you want a break from walking altogether, bike rickshaws and horse-drawn carriages are aplenty here.
Stay at the iconic Hotel Bennett for easy access to all that downtown has to offer, or post up on Sullivan's Island at your own affordable beachside home via Vrbo, if you'd prefer being right on the water.
Round-trip flights to Charleston are under $100 right now from NYC, and around $200 from Los Angeles or Chicago.
Want a babymoon locale that's less humid but still sunny? Look no further than the Arizona desert. Scottsdale, AZ offers the perfect combination of R&R—by luxe hotel pools at the Phoenician Scottsdale or the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess—and rugged nature for keeping that pregnancy fitness going with a stunning hike amidst the saguaros. Plus, the area is home to more than 70 hotels and resorts as well as over 50 spas (!) so there's truly something for everyone.
Laura McMurchie of Experience Scottsdale adds that the area is rife with "romance, too...to make for the ultimate trip for couples looking to unwind and reconnect before the family adds one more... Then you mix in an array of spa and wellness services tailored to expectant mothers and couples, top-notch dining and shopping, and endless opportunity to enjoy the outdoors."
Sounds pretty much like a pregnancy paradise—and super affordable to get to, with flights (to nearby Phoenix, AZ) at $100 or less round-trip coming from NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, and more.
We know, wine country may not be your first thought when it comes to mid-pregnancy travels. But the area actually has a ton to offer beyond the go-to vineyard-hopping (although you can do that too—and if you opt to spit chances are you won't be the only one). Plus, you can avoid the crowds and save some cash as well if you skip Napa entirely and head to Healdsburg instead.
And wine isn't the area's only beverage expertise: Local Healdsburg specialty shop/restaurant/out-of-this-world experience The Taste of Tea will transport you straight to Japan for a fraction of the price. You can sip non-alcoholic "marTEAnis" on the patio or even book an appointment for a Japanese Green Tea Treatment in the relaxation room—the treatment includes a warm green tea foot soak, herbal tea neck wrap, green tea-infused facial mask, plus a guided tasting of Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chinese teas.
And if that hasn't relaxed you into a tea-scented oblivion, head next to The Farmhouse Inn just outside of Healdsburg in Forestville, CA. The Inn's on-site spa, aka the "Wellness Barn," offers the best prenatal massage around, complete with cushioned belly cutouts (so you can actually lie face-down for the first time in months), a belly balm to promote skin elasticity, and a grounding foot massage for those hard-working pregnancy feet.
The "save money by skipping Napa" advice applies to flying, too; your best bet is to avoid the regional airports and fly to nearby San Francisco, starting at just $140 round-trip from NYC or $103 from Los Angeles.
Wish you could afford a babymoon to Europe? Montreal is the easiest and most affordable way to feel like you just flew to France. Like Paris or Toulouse, it's a vibrant modern city with a historical heart—and plenty of sidewalk cafes at which to enjoy people-watching and poutine. And it's less than a five-hour drive from Poughkeepsie! Or, you know, a 1.5-hour flight from NYC.
Stay at the chic boutique Hotel EPIC Montreal for just $128 per night (comes with a 20% rebate on your meal at Bonaparte Restaurant) or save even more at one of the city's countless adorable (and well-rated) Vrbos that ring in at as little as $57 per night.
Fully vaccinated American travelers are currently permitted to enter Canada for tourism purposes, provided they test negative for COVID-19 via a PCR test prior to entry.
Savannah serves up much of the swampy Southern charm of New Orleans—without having to worry about dodging drunk dudes on Bourbon Street. Stay at The Thompson Savannah for $188 per night and you'll have easy access to the hotel's riverfront views, free bike rentals, and delicious dining. Bonus: Both of the hotel's signature eateries, Fleeting and Bar Julian, have a stellar mocktail selection (try the lemongrass-tinged "Waking Dream" with zero-proof gin) that will make you forget how much you might have been missing the real thing.
While in town, you can take a trolley tour, stroll the waterfront, get your fill of arts and culture (the Savannah College of Art and Design has a renowned museum along with the university) and of course shop for local goodies, from the famous honey at Savannah Bee Company to the soon-to-be-even-more-famous Greg's Famous Hot Sauce—brewed, as Greg says, "as ethically as possible in sultry Savannah."
NYC to Savannah round-trip flights start at only $87 these days, or $150 from Boston.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Just 10 minutes away from Sangster International Airport (MBJ), the luxurious Half Moon Montego Bay is a dream come true for pregnant and non-pregnant people alike, thanks to its easy access and unfussy luxury.
Danielle F., an NYC yoga teacher and mom of two, came here for her babymoon and sings the praises of Half Moon's combination of elegance and convenience (proximity to the airport, direct flights available). "I loved the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea," she continues. "You can just float on a raft in the ocean without worrying about a wipeout—very important for pregnancy."
Plus, "the breakfast there was 100—fresh fruit galore!" she adds. "I'm sure all of the food was great, but I mostly remember the breakfast. And the staff were so friendly; it really felt like a family."
The resort is definitely family-friendly—so if you're toting along an older kid or two for your babymoon it still works—but it's not centered around kids, so if you're there with just a partner or solo, you can get ready to relax.
Note that Jamaica requires all entering travelers to submit a negative COVID-10 test (PCR or rapid) taken within 72 hours of arriving in Jamaica.
On the other hand, "family-friendly" may be exactly what you don't want for an adults-only last hurrah. "I liked Tulum for my 2015 babymoon specifically because it was not family-friendly," says Laura Norkin, Deputy Editor of InStyle and mom of two.
What, exactly, does a family-unfriendly pregnancy trip look like? It's one that's all about you, of course! "I wanted to lie down on a bed on the white-sand beach, eat chips and guac, and drink smoothies in the sun hearing nothing but the waves and a hotel's bossa nova playlist," Norkin explains of her choice to babymoon in Tulum. "I wanted to eavesdrop on C-list celebrities and read books and have the option to do prenatal yoga or a massage at a hotel that felt luxe and adult."
"The nightlife scene felt a little 'ugh why am I pregnant here,'" Norkin concedes, "but dinner at Posada Margherita and possibly my last good sleep made up for that. In the years since, overtourism has damaged the Quintana Roo coast, but several other locales have already been dubbed 'the next Tulum.' If I were going again, I might try Bacalar or Isla Holbox."
And no matter which of these eastern Mexican destinations you choose, flights to Cancun are almost always a great deal: under $200 round-trip whether you're flying from NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Boston. Mexico does not currently require a negative COVID-19 test for entry.
Cahuita, Costa Rica
If you prefer your beaching with a serious side of jungle, fly into Costa Rican hub Limon—round-trip from NYC starting for a jaw-dropping $175—and then hop a 45-minute taxi to Cahuita, close to the Panama border.
And if the flight weren't an awesome enough deal, you can stay at such local hotels as the highly rated 3 Bamboo Eco Lodge within Cahuita National Park for just $60 per night. And around here, those affordable hotel rates often include the bonus of a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, complete with excellent coffee and the freshest fruit around.
While you're here, although pregnant folks are advised to skip the intro-to-surfing lessons that abound on the Costa Rican coast, there's plenty do do—from soothing (and so cheap, by U.S. standards) spa treatments to guided jungle walks to hosted experiences where you can learn about local chocolate- and coffee-making.
Costa Rica is not currently requiring proof of negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.
One of the most affordable international destinations out there, Cuba is a shockingly quick fight from Miami and makes you feel like you're not only in a far-off country, but in a far-off time as well. And it's a whole lot cheaper than flying to, say, Argentina, Spain, Russia, or any of the other distant cities Havana carries hints of.
Stay at the family-owned Paseo 206 boutique hotel starting at just $135 per night, and you'll feel like you lucked into a stay at some previously unknown rich expat relative's cozy mansion—with gorgeous bathtubs to boot. And while you're likely not be indulging in many a mojito or Cuba Libre while pregnant, the former is just as refreshing made virgin. And don't worry: You don't need to be tipsy to enjoy everything that a night dining al fresco and wandering the music-laden streets of Old Havana has to offer. It's magical no matter what.
U.S. travelers must provide proof of vaccination for entry to Cuba.